What Is a Black Light?

Black Lights and Ultraviolet Lamps

Ultraviolet light is invisible, but black lights or UV-lamps also emit some visible violet light.
Ultraviolet light is invisible, but most black lights or UV-lamps also emit some visible violet light. Kallemax, wikipedia.org

Have you ever wondered what a black light is? Did you know there are different types of black lights? Here's a look at what black lights are and how you can find and use a black light.

What Is a Black Light?

A black light is a lamp that emits ultraviolet light. Black lights also are known as ultraviolet lamps.

Why Is a Black Light Called a "Black" Light?

Although black lights emit light, ultraviolet light is not visible to human eyes, so the light is 'black' as far as your eyes are concerned.

A light that only gives off ultraviolet light would leave a room in apparent total darkness. Many black lights also emit some violet light. This allows you see that the light is on, which is helpful in avoiding over-exposure to ultraviolet light, which can damage your eyes and skin.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is a Black Light?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 11, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-black-light-607620. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, March 11). What Is a Black Light? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-black-light-607620 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is a Black Light?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-black-light-607620 (accessed November 22, 2017).